Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Birthday Mayhem

Not really, but to a three year old, it may have been. J had a super awesome birthday. The fun went on for days. And the gifts just keep on coming, much to his surprise. Probably best to tell the story in pictures...

It was a loosely themed Biscuit Brothers/musical farm party, so K,C and Z gave J a Biscuit Brothers outfit. So cool...

We got a phone call during the party that a friend's baby boy was born. We won't forget his birthday!

Newborn twins made an appearance and didn't mind any of the noise at all.

I made J a tractor cake. It would have been a lot easier if he wanted chocolate cake, but he wanted a yellow cake, so it took forever to decorate. I was really happy with it, though. And he talked about it for days, so that was a pretty good compliment.

The kiddos decorated electric guitars, but they had a little trouble getting the band together for a good photo.

We gave J a train table and a piano. I know I have said it before, but I. Love. Craigslist.

Uncle M made the trip down from Baltimore for the big day. I think the party was a good form of birth control for him.
Other cool gifts.

After the birthday extravaganza, J and I went back to Florida with my mom. Beach, parks, golf, Butterfly World. Getting spoiled by all the other grandmas in the neighborhood. Here he is feeding some Lorikeets and practicing his putting with Grandpa.

Well I better post this instead of trying to think of more interesting things to say. I'm just trying to get you guys used to the absence come May and there is no writing at all.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Entering the Kingdom of Threedom

The third birthday will be upon us tomorrow, followed by a party on Saturday. I see lots of cake eating in our future because there will be cupcakes at school, most likely followed by extra cupcake eating at home, and a tractor cake on Saturday. I'll try to get some veggies in there somehow. I'm hoping that turning three makes J happy, unlike last year when he woke up angry at the world for turning two.

How would I wrap up the year of two?
  • with a big sigh and a nap. It's been a whirlwind of a year for all of us. Pregnant or not, it's been tiring.
  • Faster talking, faster walking/running, faster manipulation time
  • whining that often becomes conniving
  • laughing that is incredibly infectious
  • opinions that are strongly expressed ("Those aren't the rules, Mommy!")
  • the use of words like "actually, in fact, finally, eventually, suddenly, after all". Sometimes I feel like this kid could have his own instructional tv show.
  • the development of logic that is completely clear and at the same time, completely fuzzy
  • the acquisition of knowledge about almost every percussion instrument
  • wrapping paper tubes can be guitars, bass, banjos, and even mandolins
  • singing a song is a great way to ignore your parents when they request you clean up
  • my kid cannot be in a car without music--preferably his music
  • potty training is evil with boys
  • he tries to show kindness and empathy to everyone he meets. One day this will break his heart (and mine). One day this will make him extremely happy.
  • testing his parents and others became an interesting part-time job
  • his imagination has grown immensely. Sometimes this makes me realize how narrow minded I have become with age.
  • he still loves to read (yes!)
  • he loves to travel
  • he's a boy and seems to be really good with directions in the car
  • he recognizes Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen
  • he loves when other people come to visit and hates when they leave
  • he asks adults if they have no food in front of them if they would like some of his
  • a recall of events sometime later which makes me ask, "How do you remember that?"
  • milk is the only thing he will use as a dip for food. Sometimes this is appropriate and other times this is completely disgusting. Carrots and milk anyone?
A completely random list and there's plenty more. Like I said last year, we still haven't broken him and he still wakes up happy to see us in the morning. That is something for which I am incredibly grateful.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy. Keep on strumming and singing.

See ya later, two!

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Big D

Forgive me for the lack of posting. Aside from using my extra time for nesting purposes, the only other topics I could write about lately is shocking toddler behavior. I started a post about it, but never finished it. Maybe I will, but hopefully we've moved on and that's that for now.

We took a last minute trip up to the Big D on Friday and Saturday. That's Dallas to the rest of you. B had to renew his sedation license so that his patients wouldn't get angry when he told them that he had to do their root canal without anesthesia. Originally he was going to drive up and back on the same day, but we agreed that spending a few extra bucks on a hotel room and not falling asleep at the wheel or in the class might be a better option. Thanks to our buddies over at Priceline, he got a great hotel for $50. When I found out how nice it was, I decided that J and I should tag along and have some fun.

Here's what J thought of the experience. I said, "J, would you like to go to Dallas and see a new city and go to a museum while daddy goes to school?" J said, "Yeah! I think that would be AMAZING!" His enthusiasm just cracks me up. He was so excited that he didn't sleep at all on the way up there even though we left right before his bedtime. There were too many neon lights to gaze upon. When we got to the hotel room, which for some odd reason, he called, "the church hotel", he said, "Wow! This is my new bedroom? I am so excited to be here." Thankfully we were all able to fall asleep rather quickly.

The next morning, we dropped B off at his class. As we drove through downtown Dallas, J said, "This is the biggest city I have ever seen in my life! Look at how big the buildings are!" All I could think was just wait until I take you to New York City, kiddo. J and I returned back to our church hotel for a leisurely morning of breakfast and Mickey Mouse. We then ventured over to the Museum of Nature and Science. Given that we spent about three hours total inside, I'd say the museum got two thumbs up from J. It actually was a lot of fun. The upstairs is geared towards older kids, but still fine for younger kids to browse. J especially enjoyed the giant nose that you could stick your head into and it would sneeze you out. There was also a place where you could experiment with sound. It took about 2.2 seconds for my music loving child to seize the microphone and belt out an echoing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Other people in the exhibit area cracked up because the microphone was meant to be used for testing simple sounds, but whatever. His confidence drew a crowd of other kids that then wanted to sing their own little tunes.

The downstairs part of the museum was a children's museum fit with a firetruck and fireman apparel, a giant xylophone, tarantulas, snakes and other creepy crawlies, a giant cow that could be milked, a farm area with tons of activities, a building station, sand pit, water exploration area, hot air balloon, and dental exhibit. The best part was we were there at lunch time so there were very few people around and J got to linger and revisit things numerous times.

It was a gorgeous day. The only meltdown we had was when I told J we couldn't ride a swan boat. I didn't think taking a toddler in a boat by myself while I am pregnant was the best of ideas. I did allow a quick jaunt out on a rock to look at turtle in the middle of a pond. After some munching and walking, J said he wanted to go back inside again, which was fine with me because I was wondering what we were going to do for the next 2.5 hours. It was back to xylophoning, firefighting, and cow milking. So fun.

The museum is actually on the state fairgrounds and is the home to a variety of museums. We also checked out the American Railway Museum. J and I were both of the opinion that it was a complete bust. The trains were really cool (and old) but there were only a few cars that were open to walk through and J really wanted to steer a steering wheel. We managed to find one on the back of a caboose. We weren't supposed to climb up there, but we did anyway. Thankfully that satisfied the steering wheel need and we called it a day. J fell asleep in the car for a bit before we went to pick up B and head back home.

The ride from Dallas to Austin is incredibly painful. It's straight for three hours. There's nothing to look at. And I had a kicking kid causing multiple rest stops, and another kid in the back saying, "I can't see home! Where is it?" The fun was over, but we had a pretty good time.